Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Education on nuclear matters? Don’t let the nuclear industry be in charge of this! – theme for February 19

Would you go to British Tobacco for education on how to have healthy lungs?

Would you trust the Sugar Industry for education on healthy teeth?

So why on earth are we letting the nuclear industry run the education on the most important aspects of nuclear power – the ones that affect humans, all species, and the environment?

The nuclear experts are big on their technical stuff, how to build a new reactor etc, (but very quiet on how to get rid of its radioactive trash)

But don’t let them be the education authorities on ionising radiation – a cause of cancer, birth defects, genetic effects, environmental effects.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on dealing with climate change.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on prevention of war.

Don’t let them be the education authorities on the supposed economic benefits of nuclear power.

Above all, don’t let the nuclear industry control education about HISTORY –  about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, atomic testing, about Urals disaster 1957, Mayak, Three Mile Island, Church Rock, Chernobyl, Fukushima…….

And don’t let them get at our kids with their propaganda.

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February 17, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear “education” in Australia – theme for February 2019

For public education about the nuclear industry, Australia relies on  – well – the nuclear industry. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)  is a government statutory body, which in 1987 grew out of The Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The AEC’s original mission was to plan for nuclear weapons for Australia, or, if that failed, at least for nuclear power. This goal of promoting nuclear power remains ANSTO’s core role

ANSTO does the nuclear education for Australians. It’s just like putting British Tobacco in charge of education about healthy lungs.

Just how does ANSTO do its “nuclear education” for Australia?, Well, broadly, by silence. Minimal information, especially about nuclear reactor dangers, transport of wastes, and about how much tax-payer funding it guzzles up. The Australian media conveniently complies with this silence.

However, when it comes to rural communities in one region of South Australia, then ANSTO is busily flooding them with “education”, because ANSTO has this dream of expanding nuclear power, and becoming a global hub for nuclear, but to do that, it has to dump the radioactive wastes somewhere, – Hawker, Kimba .. anywhere – ‘away from civilisation’.

The nuclear lobby now ‘partners’ with academia, wherever possible, and some universities are very grateful for their funding grants.  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) partners with The University of Tasmania. South Australian top university big-wigs are nuclear industry promoters.

Then there’s the space travel hype. The great “colonise Mars” dream and all the rest of the space fever rarely mentions that the space travel rockets will be nuclear-powered – indeed, powered by plutonium, that man-made substance that is the most carcinogenic substance known. Too bad if there’s a crash.

Underlying all this is the glorification of STEM education – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. These ARE important studies, – but the subtext of this message is the downgrading of the arts and humanities subjects.

Technology can do things and go places. Humanities can guide us on what things we should do, and what places we should go to.

 

January 19, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | 2 Comments

2019 – The challenges to address climate change and remove the nuclear threats- theme for January 19

Climate and nuclear activists have lots to do in 2019. The IPCC report emphasises the need for a complete transition to clean energy, the need for people to put real pressure on governments. This video (partially an ad for an optical company) gives a good rundown on the report and its recommendations

Why the IPCC Report is so Scary

It’s astonishing, that with the global horror of nuclear radioactive trash piling up in USA, UK, Russia, Japan…. with no solution in sight,  governments still promote the nuclear industry. And with the “Doomsday Clock” at 2 minutes to 12, it is an urgent need to stop the nuclear industry.

It’s harder for people in totalitarian countries, Russia, China, –  to learn the truth about nuclear power – its diseconomics as well as its dangers. It’s still hard for people in democratic countries to grasp the facts, as mainstream media, and even much of the alternative media, blindly swallow the propaganda lies about nuclear power being “clean” and “the solution to climate change”.

The intrinsic connection between “peaceful” nuclear power and nuclear weapons manufacture has been clearly recognised. So this now remains the main reason for governments to promote nuclear power at home, while they scramble to try to sell the uneconomic technology overseas.

As with climate change, the challenge is for people to pressure governments, and to elect candidates who are not in the pocket of the nuclear industry.

Our nuclear free moment

As with climate change, many groups and individuals around the world are spreading the word on how to counteract industry propaganda, how to resist polluting developments. They are supporting indigenous land rights, social justice issues, and networking globally to close down polluting industries, and develop clean energy and energy conservation. The U.N Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, with 69 nations already signed up now shows that nuclear weapons are morally unacceptable, and shows the way to a nuclear weapons-free world.

 

January 19, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia 2019 – it’s time to Act on Climate Change, and for a Nuclear-Free Nation – theme for January 2019

It could be the weather – heat, bushfires, floods- or the degraded state of our one big river system – or the ever more obvious stupidity of our masters in Canberra –   but something has to wake up Australians to our climate peril.

Australia, with its relatively small population, is the “canary in the mine” for developed countries experiencing climate change. We need to:

(a) Show the world that we are part of the global co-operative effort to slow down climate change, and to adapt to its impacts. Australia must reverse its disgraceful history of subverting international action on climate change. Australia must help Pacific island nations to address sea level rise impacts, including accepting climate refugees.

(b)  Quit coal, push for energy conservation, re-afforestation, and renewable energy, with a properly developed grid, and promote electric vehicles.

As for the nuclear threat to Australia – it’s not on the public radar, thanks to the corporate-influenced media, as well as to the ignorance and subservience of Australia’s Liberal and Labor politicians. What needs to happen – an independent inquiry and plan for managing radioactive trash, the closing of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, (in conjunction with development of a cyclotron-based development of medical radioisotopes.) Expose and turf out those politicians who remain in the grip of the nuclear lobby – with their dream of $billions from turning Australia into the world’s nuclear garbage dump.

Labor has made a start, with its in-principle decision to join the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Unfortunately, Australia is locked into the USA nuclear weapons system, with Pine Gap and other American military bases (targets) in this country.

The risk of nuclear war is now greater than ever, since World War 2. In international relations, Australia treads  a difficult path between its ties to both USA and China. Blind subservience to Donald Trump is a dangerous option.

However, the prospect of a Labor election victory quite soon means that Australia can now look forward to some intelligent and better-informed national leadership on both climate and nuclear matters.

And we have very dedicated organisations working on both of these issues. We need all Australians to join us in an allout effort for a clean energy Australia, helping the global effort to slow the pace of climate change, and intelligently addressing its effects.

 

January 10, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

2019 – For a clean nuclear-free climate – theme for January

It would be nice to just wish everyone a happy New Year. We can do that. And for the Earth, we can wish that the human species would stop polluting it.  We can say, along with Dr Pangloss  – “Everything for the best, in the best of all possible worlds”.

But, I’m afraid that we’re kidding ourselves, if we think that we can do any more than to slow the onset of climate change. “Disruptive impacts from climate change are now inevitable”. Jem Bendell, A British Professor of Sustainability now says that nothing in our civilization is sustainable.  The emphasis must now also be on adaptation to climate change. Elizabeth May, Leader of Canada’s Green Party, has recently stressed, on Radio Ecoshock,   that not only grandchildren, and later generations will be affected, but today’s children will experience the social, and health disruptions of climate change.

The Power of One Green – Elizabeth May in 2018

As for the nuclear threat – it’s no wonder that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock stays now at 2 minutes to midnight, with aggressive leaders like Trump and Putin, with weapons’ companies and military brass salivating about new, advanced weapons, even space warfare.

Still, nations continue to sign up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. It’s a start.

For the “peaceful” nuclear industry – the good news is that it’s becoming  a failing economic disaster. It would die a faster death, if it were not so valuable to the nuclear weapons industry.   Colossal waste problems in USA, Japan, UK, are stalling plans for new reactors . Russia and China are not publicly divulging information on their wastes, but both are keen to export nuclear technology, rather than develop it at home.

The nuclear industry continues its lies about nuclear solving climate change -lies that are mindlessly regurgitated by the mainstream media. Media also faithfully parrot the promises of “new nukes” – the “Generation IV” nuclear designs that do not yet exist, and would be prohibitively expensive, requiring huge tax-payer subsidies..

Anyway, I promise to include some good news, some positive stories, in 2019, because, after all, good people continue to do good things. And, we just can’t afford to give up hope – as Greta Thunberg tells us “Look for action – then the hope will come”

 

December 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina reviews, Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia -the continent especially threatened by climate change, (and nuclear development) – theme for December 18

Australia is especially vulnerable to climate change, because it is so dry, and has very limited fresh water. Its prevailing eucalypt forests are particularly flammable.

Australia’s periodically  occurring bushfires are now changing, and becoming superfires, more extreme, and harder to control.

At the same time the Australian government and the nuclear lobby are pushing to expand the Lucas Heights nuclear facility -despite the very real bushfire hazard near the site.

And – this week, bushfires near Kimba, fire threats to Flinders area –  the very places where the government plans to put a nuclear waste dump.

And – it’s not just the dump itself. It’s the danger along 1700 km of transport route for the nuclear wastes from Lucas Heights to the dump site. Climate change brings ever-increasing bushfire danger along the way – to add to the risks of terrorism, accident etc.

Far from taking seriously these threats, and the other climate threats – of drought, water shortage, and also floods and cyclones – the Australian government is virtually in denial of climate change. They are busy promoting coal and nuclear.

 

December 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, climate change - global warming | 1 Comment

Bushfires, Climate Change, and Nuclear Sites – theme for December 2018

Bushfires in Queensland have ushered in the “new normal”  of superfires in Australia. California has already experienced this new normal. It means that these fires are now catastrophic. They encroach on human habitation. Fire behaviour has changed.  Their intensity is greater. Their severity is greater: their flames are higher. Fires last longer, and come with increasing frequency. They spread at higher rates, and jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks. .

These fires now do long -term damage to the ecosystem. The earth underneath is affected, habitat destroyed, killing all the normal bacteria and inhabitants of the soil. Many are fires that are impossible to put out.

The background to these new superfires is climate change. Climate change has brought higher temperatures and  drought – resulting in drier trees and other vegetation – meaning that tinder-dry fuel is ready for ignition.

Australia is uniquely vulnerable, as the driest continent, with its prevailing eucalypt forests.

In California, the authorities are trying hard to cover up the reality that the wildfires started at an abandoned and still radioactively contaminated, nuclear facility . The fire would undoubtedly have caused radioactive ash to be blown about. (The fact that it’s not measured doesn’t mean that it is non existent) 

Australia is vulnerable to a similar radioactive threat. Last year, bushfires went uncomfortably close to the  Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. Plans to transport Lucas Height nuclear waste 1700 km across Australia to Flinders Ranges area mean that this radioactive trash would be at risk of accident, and one of the worst risks would be bushfires.

Australia must face up to the climate change threats – floods (as more water vapour, due to heat, will come down as flooding) , sea level rise, and super bushfires. Lucas Heights nuclear reactor should be closed, and ANSTO’s nuclear dream prevented from becoming Australia’s climate-nuclear nightmare.

The Age of Super Fires

November 29, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Media mindlessly parrot nuclear lobby ‘low carbon” nonsense – theme for November 18

The nuclear fuel chain emits carbon all the way through, and I find it extraordinary that journalists mindlessly parrot these lies from the nuclear lobby. Makes you wonder – do the mainstream journalists actually compose the stuff that they write, about nuclear power, or do they just copy the handouts from the industry?

Quite simply, nuclear industry leaders want to get financial help – subsidies, tax credits, from governments that have been duped into believing that nuclear power is “low” or even “zero” carbon.

The also want the “respectability”, public approval,  that comes from being seen as combatting climate change. (even though most were previously in the denying climate change camp).

Anyway – it’s common sense to see that nuclear power is quite a strong emitter of greenhouse gases.  Any thinking non-expert can see that. However, experts see it too. Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, media | Leave a comment

Solar and wind fuels emit no carbon, but “low carbon” nuclear fuel- it’s a lie! theme for November 18

Solar and wind energy both flow directly to the generating system.

Not only are these fuels carbon-free, but, unlike nuclear, they leave no wastes

Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.  BUT – Carbon-14 is produced in coolant at boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is typically released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide at BWRs, and methane at PWRs.

October 25, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 5 Comments

Clean energy, not nuclear, is Australia’s future – theme for October 18

Australia is in some ways, a world leader in renewable energy. And this is in spite of its Liberal Coalition government’s drive to suppress renewable energy!

Small scale solar power is revolutionising electricity supply in Australia, with households and small businesses benefiting from affordable rooftop solar systems, while grid prices are too high. Community energy continues to go ahead, without government support. Battery storage systems now accelerate Australia’s transition to clean energy, with almost half of large businesses shifting to renewables.

The States, and Australian cities and towns, are showing the way ahead.

  • South Australia powers ahead towards a target of 50% renewables by 2050,  with large scale solar systems, as well as rooftop.  Wind power booms in South Australia – it s variable, at times exporting electricity to Victoria.

While South Australia heads to becoming a global renewable energy success story, in other States and Territories renewable energy is booming, too.

Australia, with its abundant sunshine, and wind is the nation best suited to renewable energy. It can, combines with energy efficiency, meet Australia’s electricity needs, and also export renewable energy, and innovative clean power and water conservation systems.

We have that opportunity.  We must not let it be derailed by the greed and idealogy of a few powerful Australian individuals in the nuclear cult.

 

September 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, energy | 1 Comment

Small scale solar power for economy and democracy – theme for October 18

Solar power is now cheaper than retail electricity for millions of households. In the developed world, it can save countless homeowners tens of thousands of dollars.

Meanwhile, all across the developing world, solar power is actually cheaper than power generated from fossil fuels. Just as many people in the developing world leapfrogged from no phones to cell phones, these populations will leapfrog from no electricity to electricity from solar panels.

Democratizing the Energy System One of the major implications of solar power growth, electric vehicle growth and wind power growth to some extent (wind turbines are great additions to farms and small communities) is that they are essentially democratizing our energy system. They decentralize ownership and provide more societal power and more money to common citizens and small businesses. They create more energy independence and security for families, cities and nations, which I believe will ultimately contribute to greater peace in the world.

solar-decentralised

Also, there has got to be some positive psychological effect from people realizing that they are no longer burning the bones of dinosaurs (amongst other fossils!) for their energy needs, but are instead using renewable sources of energy such as sunlight and wind. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/27/communicating-renewable-energy-revolution/

September 30, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

The Global Nuclear Waste Crisis – theme for September 18

It’s a crisis NOW. Already there are many hundreds of thousands of metric tones of radioactive trash piled up in the nuclear countries.  A crisis that rivals climate change. A crisis that means more sickness, more danger, more terrorism risks, more secrecy and security – heading to police states.

It’s time that the world faced up to it

It’s a massive and pressing problem in USA – because America was the first to develop nuclear power and nuclear weapons in a big way, – and because there is freedom of speech in USA so people know about the problem.

Anxiety about the nuclear waste problem is growing in Britain and France, and some European countries.

Russia undoubtedly has a massive radioactive waste problem, but you don’t get to hear about it in a totalitarian state.

And China? China has huge pollution problems from industry – but little public acknowledgment of its nuclear waste. Still there are protests –  nobody wants the waste in their backyard.

And smaller “non-nuclear” countries like Australia still face the radioactive horrors from uranium mining, and the threat of nuclear waste dumping.

September 8, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

The World, including Australia, Must Stop Making Radioactive Trash – theme for September 18

It’s such a simple idea  – so simple that our clever experts, politicians, academics, media  – can’t grasp it.

With religious fervour, the nuclear lobby tells us there’s nothing to worry about, as with the help of God, our descendants will cope with the toxic radioactive mess that nuclear activities are building up around the world, and that Australia is building up at Lucas Heights.

Simple people think – “It would be best to bury deeply the toxic wastes that now exist, and to stop making any more”.

And they are right.

 

Fools think  – “Australia can import nuclear wastes, and we personally can make a lot of money, and our own children and grand-children will thank us” (just as they will thank us for climate change.)

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Why the Australian government’s desperate frenzy to set up a nuclear waste dump on agricultural land? – theme for August 18

With breathtaking hypocrisy, the Australian government, fronted by its not terribly bright Resources Minister Matt Canavan, [ well he was until 24 August] is pouring $$$ and huge effort, into conning a small rural community into hosting a nuclear waste dump.

This is of course, a world-wide problem, wherever the nuclear industry exists. However, Australians, especially country Australians, are especially poorly informed on matters nuclear.

The government has taken advantage of that fact, and brainwashed the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker into the belief that they’d be doing  a noble thing by their children, grandchildren and beyond, and of course –  saving Australia’s health system at the same time.

This nonsense is persuasive –  particularly so in this time of drought, when the prospect of tax-payer $millions, is dangled in front of the community.  especially nice for those “noble” souls, like pro-nuclear ex-politician Grant Chapman who offered their land.

Of course the Aboriginal people, custodians of this land for 40,000 years, don’t want the dump. But apparently Australia doesn’t really care about them, and the National Radioactive Waste Management Act overrides Aboriginal Heritage legislation.

The Senate received 112 submissions about this. The majority opposed the plan. We await the Senate’s report on 14 August.  The local communities will be voting on this later than  20 August. Now the Human Rights Commission is considering the rights of Aboriginal communities left out of the vote.  Then what?

And what goes on behind the scenes, with lobbying by the nuclear industry and the military?

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 2 Comments

Exposing the lies about planned Kimba or Hawker nuclear waste dump – theme for August 18

Kimba and Hawker are being conned by the unethical Australian nuclear lobby –  Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Department Of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) and all their political and media hangers-on. 1 the planned waste dump is not a “medical necessity” for Australia.  Nuclear medicine will continue if there is no centralised dump.

  1. Medical radioisotopes –  the vast majority decay so fast that they are best disposed of close to where they are used,: they do not need to be transported 1700 km across Australia.
  2. Contrary to the propaganda fed to the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker, the purpose of the dump is not just for Low Level Wastes (LLW). It is for Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW), which by the way, are classed in France as High Level Wastes (HLW)
  3. The communities are told that the  waste dump is  “temporary”, but as there is no plan for permanent disposal, in reality, it will be a case of stranded nuclear wastes for hundreds of years.
  4. The communities are told that overseas, nuclear waste dumps are happily accepted, but in reality, there is fierce public opposition in UK, France and USA.
  5. There is no real evidence that this will be an economic bonanza for the towns.  There is every likelihood that this plan, already divisive for the communities, will be a blight on South Australia’s agriculture, tourism, and reputation.

 

July 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment